County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Chris Aletia has challenged the Turkana youth to take advantage of the existing World Bank grants at the ministry to   come up with proposals on value chains to secure funding.

Addressing groups of aspiring artists today in Lodwar, CECM Chris Aletia said that funding of youth groups on value chains activities that include goat/sheep meat production, sorghum-cowpea intercrop, apiculture and poultry farming was part of the County Government plan to achieve food security by empowering youth economically.

CECM Aletia assured the youth that ministry through the National Agricultural And Rural Inclusive Growth Projects (NARIGP) is ready to help youths draft well written proposals that can secure funding.

Apart from increased budgetary allocation to the agriculture ministry as a means of achieving food security in the county, CECM Aletia revealed that the county government had plans to procure more farm machinery and increase land for crop productivity through flood-based farming in this financial year. 

He said that County Government was committed to addressing issues of food security through reclaiming more farming land and increased food productivity despite cycles of drought that hampered its efforts. He stated that the ministry had knowledgeable staff and experts to capacity build groups on how best to promote the four value chains activities under NARIGP.

NARIGP is a National Government project funded by World Bank with an objective of increasing agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted rural communities in selected 21 Counties. Its main objective is to increase Agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted rural communities in selected counties.

The County Agriculture minister also promised artists,  who have been in Lodwar for a three-day training on “PARTICIPATORY EDUCATION THEATRE  FOR YOUTH GROUPS” that the ministry would lobby for a space for them to perform during the upcoming Tobong’ulore event slated for next month.

County Agriculture Deputy Director, Paul Lokone, said that the government had stepped up efforts on farming by adopting modern farming techniques and planting of drought resistant crops like sorghum and cowpeas that withstand varying weather conditions. He encouraged youth to work closely with NARIGP which he said offers an employment opportunity through business.

CECM Aletia had earlier own hosted officials from German International Development agency, GIZ, to discuss on the selected sites for farming as well as  trainees who will be traveling to Mekele University (Ethiopia) to training on flood-based farming. The selected sites for farming through the flood based system includes; Lodoopua in Lobokat ward, Korich in Kangatotha ward and Namortot in Lakezone ward.

The ministry has partnered with GIZ to train five County government agriculture officers for two weeks in Ethiopia to learn on modern and improved technology on flood-based farming. The officers will also have a further six-week field training while implementing the projects on the selected farming sites.